Cholesterol plays an important role in digestion, hormone production, and generation of Vitamin D. It’s essential to maintain the right balance between good cholesterol (HDL, high density lipoproteins) and bad cholesterol (LDL, low-density lipoproteins). High cholesterol can be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, as a build-up can narrow arteries and restrict blood flow.
High cholesterol can be genetic, but it can be caused by lifestyle factors including obesity, lack of physical activity, and a poor diet. Other medical conditions can contribute to high cholesterol, including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, or under-active thyroid. Certain medications can also raise LDL and lower HDL levels.
If you are enrolled in Medicare, you should take advantage of your Welcome to Medicare visit and annual wellness visits. Building a rapport with your doctor and keeping up with regular visits can help your physician understand your health history and current needs. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers the cost of doctor visits, preventive care, and screenings for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease. Part B will cover cardiovascular screening blood tests once every five years. Part B covers medically necessary clinical diagnostic laboratory services when your doctor orders them, as long as your medical provider accepts assignment.
If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor will create a treatment plan to help lower it. It may include lifestyle changes as well as medication. Millions of people take prescription drugs to help manage their cholesterol. Lipitor, or the generic Atorvastatin, is classified as a statin and is used to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Part D Can Help Pay for Lipitor
If you need to take Lipitor regularly, you may be concerned about the cost of your prescription medication. Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage, can help cover the costs. If you have Original Medicare, you can enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). Many Medicare recipients choose to get their Part A and Part B benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer the same coverage as Original Medicare, but many offer additional benefits, including prescription drug coverage. Each PDP or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD) has its own formulary, or list of covered drugs, and their own tiers of pricing. Pricing tiers are based on brand-name or generic drugs, and if you get your prescriptions from a pharmacy within the plan’s network or through mail-order.
If you already have Medicare prescription drug coverage but your needs have changed over this past year, you can consider making changes to your insurance during Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP), October 15 through December 7. During AEP, you can change from one PDP to another PDP or from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan (with or without prescription drug coverage). You can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, or drop your Medicare Advantage plan and revert to Original Medicare. You can enroll in a stand-alone PDP at this time.